Did You Know: Male CEOs' Kids and Worker Pay, Hiring for "Fit," and STEM Tuition Discounts

How a Male CEO’s Offspring Affect His Employees’ Pay

Did you know than when a company’s male CEO becomes a father, particularly if his first-born is a girl, his employees’ pay goes up? New research studying 18,000 male CEOs in Denmark found that when a male chief executive had a baby, particularly if it was a daughter, employee wages rose (particularly female employee wages): male employees’ salaries went up .6%, and female employees’ salaries went up 1.1%. Even when the CEO had a son (which, interestingly, was tied to shrinking salaries among employees,) female employees’ salaries shrank less. And when the executive’s first child was a son, female employees’ salaries actually went up by .8%. 

The researchers speculate that becoming a parent makes male executives care more about the well-being of other people, and in particular, alters their views about women. Other research has found a connection between whether a male executive’s wife works outside the home and whether that executive has a favorable view of his female employees’ competence. To find out more about how men can positively influence women in technology careers, check out NCWIT's researched-backed resource, Top 10 Ways to Be a Male Advocate for Technical Women.


Would Tuition Discounts Encourage More STEM Majors?

Did you know that the state of Florida is considering freezing the price of tuition at state-funded schools for science and engineering majors? TIME magazine reports that with high demand for graduates in these fields, state lawmakers are looking for ways to encourage more students to study STEM disciplines. And with the price of tuition rising steadily, there’s hope that “discounting” scientific fields will attract more students (research has shown that every $1,000 change in costs correlates to a 5% difference in enrollment).

Some have pointed out that past programs providing tuition discounts have failed to meet their goals, and question whether future initiatives will really attract new students -- much less qualified students. Others point out that the challenging nature of many STEM fields requires students who are intrinsically motivated, and that cheaper tuition won’t provide the right kind of incentive. Does your school charge different tuition for engineering majors majors? What do you think? 


A Technical Woman’s Resolutions For 2013

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions … about your technology job? Writing at The Jane Dough, Beth Devlin sets a few goals for herself in the coming year to make sure she thrives in her tech career:


  1. Learn a new technology
  2. Be OK with not keeping up
  3. Take more risks
  4. Help a young woman just starting out
  5. Show appreciation

What about you: do you have some career-related resolutions this year? Are you planning to learn a new skill, take a risk, or help a young woman at the beginning of her career? If you’d like to increase your own visibility in 2013, see Top 10 Ways Successful Technical Women Increase Their Visibility.


Hiring for Cultural Fit

Did you know that some employers don’t choose the most skilled candidates to fill their jobs? According to Businessweek it’s become trendy for companies to select employees who they think will be a good “cultural fit” -- with similar hobbies, habits, taste in movies, music, or other characteristics -- over candidates whose skills might be a better match for the job. However, choosing to populate your company with people who think, look, or behave similarly to you can actually put your company at a disadvantage: research shows that diversity of race, gender, and thought correlates to higher profits, returns, and innovation. 

So: how do you build a cohesive team without building one where everyone thinks the same way? One way is to make sure you codify your definition of cultural fit: make sure it doesn’t include unconscious bias, and make sure it’s applied evenly to all candidates. Another way is to screen for openness, creativity, communication, and problem-solving abilities, rather than similar taste in movies, hobbies, or music. A great way to identify this kind of “functional diversity” during an interview is with a pile sort activity.

Along these lines, NCWIT’s Supervising-in-a-Box: Employee Recruitment and Selection provides supervisors with resources for recruiting and hiring the best talent. This “Box” includes background information, a training guide, tip sheets, resources for employee recruitment and selection, templates, evaluation tools, and a summary of key takeaways.

Says a representative from the Society for Human Resource Management, “You just have to decide if you’re hiring for the culture you have or the culture you want.”


Citizen Schools Gets $3 Million Grant

Did you know that nonprofit Citizen Schools has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to set up programs in 23 school districts around the country? The after-school programs will pair kids with volunteer tech professionals for hands-on apprenticeships in engineering and computer science projects. Oakland Unified School District in California -- one of the 23 sites selected for the grant -- is where K-12 Alliance member Techbridge operates programs to interest girls in technology and engineering careers; it’s also a place where 69% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch and fewer than half have internet access at home. As K-12 Alliance member Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant points out, closing the access gap is a critical part of closing the achievement gap. 


Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT's radar this week that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.